Lance Armstrong may have just attracted millions of television viewers to his confessional interview with Oprah Winfrey on her eponymous Oprah Winfrey Network, but can he get audiences into theaters to watch his life story?
The Tour de France seven-time winner who was recently stripped of his titles will soon be the subject of a feature-length biopic produced by Bad Robot Productions and Paramount Pictures, Deadline reported.
The Armstrong movie is expected to be based on New York Times reporter Juliet Macur’s proposed book “Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong.” Macur covered Armstrong for more than a decade, encompassing his cancer recovery and his Tour de France victories.
Few reporters have as much experience with covering Armstrong, and her anticipated book for HarperCollins is expected to shine even more light on the disgraced cyclist’s private life.
Producing the as-yet-untitled Armstrong biopic will be Bad Robot owner and “Lost” co-creator J.J. Abrams. While Abrams is usually known for his science-fiction and action productions, such as “Star Trek,” “Fringe,” and “Mission Impossible,” he and Bad Robot have a few credits in producing less fantastical films and TV shows.
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Although it is clear the “Cycle of Lies” adaptation will largely focus on the doping scandal surrounding Armstrong, there’s no word yet on whether it will be the story of his entire life or simply a retelling of his most recent troubles.
For years, Sony Pictures had planned to produce an Armstrong movie, but as the cheating scandal worsened, the company abandoned the project, as Deadline reported. Jake Gyllenhaal had been set to star in the triumphant story of an athlete overcoming cancer to become a world champion, but as the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's investigation of Armstrong’s doping activities intensified last year, Sony backed away.
In case you missed it, you can watch Armstrong's confessional interview with Winfrey at Oprah.com.